Community Engagement Research Project on Social Infrastructure

Conduct ethnographic observation in 2-5 different spaces. These spaces might be as small as a sidewalk corner, or as large as a city transit system. Observe how people interact and use space, and what sorts of social groups are present.
Write an introductory description and analysis of social infrastructure in your community.
Reflect upon Klinenburg’s conceptual framework regarding social infrastructure.
Describe the spaces of engagement you observed in detail regarding the use of space (by whom) as well as the physical design of it.
Describe the age, gender, race, sexuality, family structure, religion, or other social group markers of people you’ve observed.
In analyzing the spaces, identify the social, cultural material/physical, digital, economic, and/or aesthetic reasons for their function/dysfunction. For example, does a local park have safe and easy access? Is it located in a place that is quiet, on a public transit line, or is it in a difficult to get to or out of the way place that is loud, overgrown, or not visible (and so seems unsafe)?
After you have observed and described these 2-5 spaces, chose one issue that you will further research that is tied to social infrastructure and affects your community in relation to civic engagement and social integration (crime, education quality, public infrastructure, economic development, racial inequality, age discrimination, immigration, natural disaster, and climate change resilience. How does the social infrastructure observed impact the issue you’ve chosen?
NOTE: If you are unable to visit spaces due to the Covid-19 pandemic, consider other alternatives, such as viewing online local forums like community social media pages, town halls or public forums that are accessible via video, tools like Google Street View and other video cameras to see different places, or even sitting in a car observing a space from a safe distance.  The goal here is to view social behaviors in different parts of your community, so be creative!

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